A mission to Mars is in the works. First thought: NASA is on it. But think again, this project was dreamed up in the private sector and is heavily funded by financial tycoon, Dennis Tito, the first space tourist. The nonprofit, "no frills" mission, called Inspiration Mars, will launch a man and a woman on a flight into space for 16 months.
They'll be crammed into a capsule about half the size of an RV, without landing gear or spacesuits to go for a spacewalk, minimal clothing and food, and they're pee will be recycled into their drinking water. Ahhh, romance.
What could go wrong? Aside from the couple perhaps getting annoyed with each other's stupid habits after just two months? Probably a lot. According to officials and CBS News, "It involves a huge risk, more than a government agency like NASA would normally permit." And though NASA isn't officially working with the private sector group, they are in discussions to see how they might be able to collaborate "on mutually beneficial activities." NASA spokesman David Steitz is hopeful for the mission, saying that it is "a testament to the audacity of America's commercial aerospace industry and the adventurous spirit of America's citizen-explorers."
So, would you volunteer for a quick 501 day, $1 billion loop around Mars?
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